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Ancient Mesopotamia
Assyria Nineveh
Arslan Tash Til Barsip
Iran Palace of Darius
Phoenicia Arabia Palmyra
Syrian coast
Ougarit Byblos

  The Art of Seals from the Akkad Empire

Around 2350-2200 BC.
Richelieu room 2 showcase 1

The god of the gulf of fresh water
surrounding the world: Enki or Ea.

The image of the god of waves also befitted the father-god, ruler of the pantheon of each city

Marble: MNB 1905 Green Jasper: AO 2332

The Art of Seals from the Akkad Empire

“The country of Shinar is often divided into two parts: Akkad to the north and to the south, Sumer or Chaldea (Genesis 10:10; 11:2).

The Akkadiens seem to have surpassed the Sumerians in the art of seals. These small engraved stone cylinders were used to affix a stamp on clay or wax, which thus indicated ownership, authenticity or approval.   A126

Seals and biblical symbolism

A certain number of figurative language expressions found in the Bible are drawn from the uses made of seals. Consequently, Daniel predicted that the Messiah will “imprint a seal upon vision and prophet.” By accomplishing prophecies, the Messiah ‘was to stamp’ them as authentic. - Daniel 9:24.

This was also a sign of belonging: Abraham “received a sign, namely, circumcision, as a seal of the righteousness by the faith he had.” (Romans 4:11). We read that the Christians of the first century were "sealed with the promised holy spirit, which is a token in advance of our inheritance.” (Ephesians 1:13, 14). Prophetic messages were 'sealed' during the period they were not understood. - Daniel 12:4, 9.

Victory of Nergal

MNB    1905

In Babylonian religion, Nergal was
the god of Hades or the underworld.

This is symbolized here
by the mountain where he destroyed
the bull-man. His wife Ereshkigal
was the sovereign of
this “ land of no return ”.

 Victory of Nergal

Nergal, the god of Hades

The Egyptians also believed in the flames of hell.

The Amduat, which goes back to 1375 BCE, says, "You have fallen in your pits [...]. You can neither escape it nor flee. The flames are against you.” This concept was also shared by Plutarch, the Greek philosopher (46-120 CE). “They suffered dishonorable and painful punishments and begged […] for pity in sobs.” This belief in an immortal soul infected Jewish sects. The historian Joseph reported that the Essenes “in line with the Greeks, relegated criminal souls to an abyss where the dark and cold reigned, and which was eternal purgatory.”And the Apocalypse of Peter, the apocryphal book of the 2nd Century says on the subject of evil people: “There was a blazing fire which punished them. […] And other men and women were being burned up to their middle and cast down in a dark place and scourged by evil spirits”  A128

  Nergal, sun-god of the summer solstice, violent and wrathful, known as ‘the one who burns’, was worshipped primarily at Kutha. The inhabitants of this city, who the King of Assyria moved after the exile of the Jews, continued to revere this divinity (2Kings 17:29, 30). According to Joseph, their descendants were called Samaritans.  A127

The origin of the belief in the flames of hell, where the evil are punished
after their death, goes back
to several centuries before
the birth of Christianity.

This notion is not found
in the Bible.

It is a pagan belief dressed up
as Christian teaching.

The belief in the flames of hell,
soon in Babylon and Egypt, but not in the Bible

The belief in the immortality of the soul and its variations continued to be believed for several thousands of years before being handed down to us. There was a belief in Assyro-Babylonian culture in life after death. Underground, through the abyss of Apsu, was the infernal resting place to which man descended after death. This was ‘the land of no return’. In this place, where eternal darkness reigned, the edimmu (the name born by the souls of the dead), covered in a clothing of wings, indiscriminately join one another. This omnipresent belief in an immaterial or spiritual element of the human being, which survives after the death of the physical body, does not appear to be biblical.

This myth of the immortality of the soul also had a profound influence over the Egyptians and the Greeks, before being incorporated into Christian philosophy by the Church Fathers.


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